Bont Vaypor G
Most gravel shoes fall into one of two camps: a toughened-up road shoe with a more flexible sole and plenty of grip bonded to an SPD-compatible sole; or a mountain bike cross-country race shoe with little to differentiate it from the shoes worn by elite mountain bike or cyclocross riders.
As Bont is very much a racing shoe company, you won’t be surprised to find that the Vaypor Gs fall into the latter camp.
Like every Bont we’ve tested, the G features the firm’s unique bathtub-shaped carbon sole, and both that and the shoe’s upper are heat mouldable.
The shoe feels incredibly stable and stiff when pedalling, thanks in no small measure to the carbon heel cup and super-secure retention and adjustment afforded by the twin BOA dials. The sole is carbon but it’s protected by a full-length bonded tread (Grip Plate).
In a nod to the cyclocross crowd, up front the shoe has provision for twin studs, which deliver a biting grip when you’re up on your toes and running through mud.
The tread covers the whole of the sole, which protects the carbon and prevents scary sole-on-pedal slips if you don’t quite engage the cleat first time.
Power transfer is, frankly, epic and the weight (686.4g a pair, size 45) is incredibly light for a sole with tread this deep.
If you’re the sort of gravel rider who likes to compete at the front of the pack, then the Vaypor Gs will most certainly be your friend – and if you frequent cyclocross events in the winter then these are among the best race shoes that you can buy.
If, however, your all-road riding is more about exploring and getting out in the wild, getting off your bike for gates and stiles or pushing it up dirt slopes, then the stiffness that’s so rewarding when pedalling makes the Vaypor Gs a bit awkward.
As a superior, lightweight off-road shoe for racers, the Vaypor Gs are as good as it gets, however, if you enjoy getting off the beaten track there are probably better options around for you to explore.
Bont Vaypor G road shoes
The G features the firm’s unique bathtub-shaped carbon sole. Philip Sowels/Immediate Media
Grip plate: A grip plate with a pliable rubber tread is bonded to the carbon sole for traction on loose surfaces.
Shape: Bont’s heat-mouldable bathtub-shaped carbon sole is bonded to an ultra-light outer.
Tight fit: Twin IP1 BOA dials with micro-adjusting dials control a web of fine cable to tension the fit.